Today's events at Celtic give indication of failures past as well as present
So, here’s a Celtic theory: the board’s utter enthusiasm to miss an open goal might’ve been why Neil Lennon was in the job for so long.
Before sounding all X Files about it, just think about this momentarily. If Celtic fumbled the bag on the option that was so clearly first choice, it makes a degree of sense. Everyone knew Neil Lennon’s time at the club had gone past a reasonable point. His position should’ve been in doubt after Ferencvaros, truth be told, for that’s when the alarm bells became ear-splitting.
As it happened, and as we all know by now, it didn’t quite happen like that. Lennon stayed on for a number of torturous months before the inevitable [Celtic FC]. By then, it would’ve taken a historic collapse from Rangers to win the 10. A fantastic chance at history, utterly squandered.
Now, I’m not one to kick someone while they’re down. Clearly, Neil Lennon was and is deeply affected by how his last season at Celtic went. It’d be cruel to lay on the criticism well after he’s gone. But that’s not the point here; it’s that the board didn’t have their affairs in order to make big decisions.
There was surely a work-around to whatever problems Eddie Howe had before taking the Celtic job. This is the same board who hired Brendan Rodgers, for goodness’ sake. It seems completely unfeasible that Howe’s signature wasn’t within our grasp. But that tells us a lot about how inadequate this Bhoys regime are to meet the expectations of a top football club.
Clutching defeat from the jaws of victory: a recent Celtic story
It’s not a pretty picture, and it hasn’t been all season. The fact that the decision to remove Lennon from his job or to appoint Howe were both ultimately decided by the individual is a huge worry. Obviously, we’re not suggesting that neither Lennon nor Howe have the autonomy to make their own decisions, it’s just that these incidents indicate that the board don’t have the type of control or decision making abilities that perhaps they thought.
So, what now? Anything the club announce is going to feel like a tribute act. And just like when Lenny had to voluntarily remove himself from the spotlight, we’re all left with a very bitter taste.
Celtic had to act when Lennon was faltering, and clearly needed more support and for him to be quietly removed from the situation for his, and everybody’s good. They let a man who was clearly struggling with the pressure and the unexpected collapse of the team speak for the club. Furthermore, they neglected their duty of care. The idea that Lennon wasn’t hurting throughout, a man who’s already been frank and brave about his mental health struggles, is total dereliction of duty.
Similarly, by wavering for a long time over Howe, that neglectfulness has put Celtic in another rough spot. They can say that it was for circumstances beyond their control. But a little communication, the idea that we didn’t have all our eggs, the chicken and the entire farm in one basket would’ve been something to hold on to.
It’s been mistake after mistake after mistake. These things are correlated, and connected by a frankly poisonous indecisiveness. As fans, we deserve better than this.